Record keeping on patient safety and nursing practice

SAN egapkea Background Improving patient safety and other dimensions of health care quality requires change at all four levels of the health care system: These IOM reports began as the product of the unique Committee on the Quality of Health Care in America created by the IOM in in response to the accumulating number of studies documenting that the way in which health care has been delivered has not kept pace with the advances in medical technology and our growing knowledge about diseases and how to effectively treat them. This report documented that not only was health care often of poor quality, it was actually unsafe.

Record keeping on patient safety and nursing practice

But, physicians may spend only 30 to 45 minutes a day with even a critically ill hospitalized patient, whereas nurses are a constant presence at the bedside and regularly interact with physicians, pharmacists, families, and all other members of the health care team.

Of all the members of the health care team, nurses therefore play a critically important role in ensuring patient safety by monitoring patients for clinical deterioration, detecting errors and near misses, understanding care processes and weaknesses inherent in some systems, and performing countless other tasks to ensure patients receive high-quality care.

Nurse staffing and patient safety Nurses' vigilance at the bedside is essential to their ability to ensure patient safety. It is logical, therefore, that assigning increasing numbers of patients eventually compromises nurses' ability to provide safe care. Several seminal studies have demonstrated the link between nurse staffing ratios and patient safety, documenting an increased risk of patient safety eventsmorbidity, and even mortality as the number of patients per nurse increases.

Record keeping on patient safety and nursing practice

The strength of these data has led several states, beginning with California into establish legislatively mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios; in California, acute medical—surgical inpatient units may assign no more than five patients to each registered nurse. The nurse-to-patient ratio is only one aspect of the relationship between nursing workload and patient safety.

Overall nursing workload is likely linked to patient outcomes as well. A sophisticated study showed that increased patient turnover was also associated with increased mortality risk, even when overall nurse staffing was considered adequate.

Determining adequate nurse staffing is a very complex process that changes on a shift-by-shift basis, and requires close coordination between management and nursing based on patient acuity and turnover, availability of support staff and skill mix, and many other factors.

Nursing skill mix and training may also be linked to patient outcomes. One classic study showed lower inpatient mortality rates for a variety of surgical patients in hospitals with more highly educated nurses. This finding has resulted in calls for all nurses to have at least a baccalaureate education.


Irrespective of educational level, the quality of nurses' on-the-job training may also play a role in patient outcomes. Less experienced nurses may therefore lack mentorship and training in dealing with systems issues and complex clinical scenarios.

Nurses' working conditions and patient safety The causal relationship between nurse-to-patient ratios and patient outcomes likely is accounted for by both increased workload and increased stress and risk of burnout for nurses.

Missed nursing care—a type of error of omission in which required care elements are not completed—is relatively common on inpatient wards. In one British studymissed nursing care episodes were strongly associated with a higher numbers of patients per nurse.

Burnout among clinicians both nurses and physicians has consistently been linked to patient safety risks, and some studies show that higher numbers of patients per nurse is correlated with increased risk of burnout among nurses. The high-intensity nature of nurses' work means that nurses themselves are at risk of committing errors while providing routine care.

Principles of record-keeping

Human factors engineering principles hold that when an individual is attempting a complex task, such as administering medications to a hospitalized patient, the work environment should be as conducive as possible for carrying out the task. However, operational failures such as interruptions or equipment failures may interfere with nurses' ability to perform such tasks; several studies have shown that interruptions are virtually a routine part of nurses' jobs.

These interruptions have been tied to an increased risk of errors, particularly medication administration errors. While some interruptions are likely important for patient care, the link between interruptions and errors is one example of how deficiencies in the day-to-day work environment for nurses is directly linked to patient safety.

Longer shifts and working overtime have also been linked to increased risk of error, including in one high-profile case where an error committed by a nurse working a double shift resulted in the nurse being criminally prosecuted.

Nurses who commit errors are at risk of becoming second victims of the error, a well-documented phenomenon that is associated with an increased risk of self-reported error and leaving the nursing profession.

In their daily work, nurses are also frequently exposed to disruptive or unprofessional behavior by physicians and other health care personnel, and such exposure has been demonstrated to be a key factor in nursing burnout and in nurses leaving their job or the profession entirely.

All of these factors—the high-risk nature of the work, increased stress caused by workload and interruptions, and the risk of burnout due to involvement in errors or exposure to disruptive behavior—likely combine with unsafe conditions precipitated by low nurse-to-patient ratios to increase the risk of adverse events.

Record keeping on patient safety and nursing practice

Using a systems analysis perspective, active errors made by individual nurses likely combine with these aligned holes in the "Swiss Cheese Model of Medical Errors" to result in preventable harm.Keeping Patients Safe’s 18 recommendations describe actions health care organizations, governmental policymakers, labor organizations, and other leaders in health care and nursing should take to promote patient safety in nurse work not directed principally to individual nurses in clinical practice, the recommendations also can be used by nurses to leverage improvements in.

There are principles of record-keeping that we will look at in this section, chief among which is the need to protect patients/clients confidentiality. The RCN has provided some guidance on record keeping called ` Delegating record keeping and countersigning records ’.

There are principles of record-keeping that we will look at in this section, chief among which is the need to protect patients/clients confidentiality. The RCN has provided some guidance on record keeping called ` Delegating record keeping and countersigning records ’.

Issues in nursing documentation and record-keeping practice I n this article, issues surrounding nursing documentation A study by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) () found that poor standards of documentation were regard to nursing documentation and record keeping.

Firstly, good standards of record keeping are linked with. This code of practice applies to hard copy and digital records, including records of NHS patients treated on behalf of the NHS in the private sector.

Introduction The following essay is going to explore how record keeping impacts on patient safety and on nursing practice. The assignment will expl.

First Steps – Principles of record-keeping